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Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care program details

Patti Cullen, CAE By Patti Cullen, CAE  |  October 23, 2020  |  All members

Last week, the US Department of Health & Human Services and Department of Defense announced agreements with CVS and Walgreens to provide and administer COVID-19 vaccines to residents of long-term care facilities (LTCF) nationwide with no out-of-pocket costs. The Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care program provides complete management of the COVID-19 vaccination process. This means LTCF residents and staff across the country will be able to safely and efficiently get vaccinated once vaccines are available and recommended for them, if they have not been previously vaccinated. It will also minimize the burden on LTCF sites and jurisdictional health departments of vaccine handling, administration, and fulfilling reporting requirements.

Program details
  • Free of charge to facilities
  • Available for residents in all long-term care settings, including skilled nursing facilities (SNF), nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, residential care homes, and adult family homes
  • Available to all remaining LTCF staff members who have not been previously vaccinated for COVID-19 (e.g., through satellite, temporary, or off-site clinics)
  • Available in most rural areas that may not have an easily accessible pharmacy
  • HHS is using multiple authorities to ensure appropriate reimbursement for these services and that no American being vaccinated for COVID-19 will have to pay out-of-pocket
  • CVS and Walgreens will schedule and coordinate on-site clinic date(s) directly with each facility—it is anticipated that three total visits over approximately two months are likely to be needed to administer both doses of vaccine (if indicated) to residents and staff; the pharmacies will also do the following:
    • Receive and manage vaccines and associated supplies (e.g., syringes, needles, and personal protective equipment)
    • Ensure cold chain management for vaccine
    • Provide on-site administration of vaccine
    • Report required vaccination data (including who was vaccinated, with what vaccine, and where) to the state, local, or territorial, and federal public health authorities within 72 hours of administering each dose
    • Adhere to all applicable Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requirements for COVID-19 testing for LTCF staff

Starting Monday, October 19, 2020, long-term care facilities (nursing facilities, assisted living communities, ICF/IIDs, and other congregate settings for older adults) will have two weeks to register with the CDC on how they want to receive and administer the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. Nursing facilities can sign up via the National Healthcare Safety Network and assisted living facilities can sign up via an online survey, starting October 19, and remaining open for two weeks.

Providers will have four options to select from: 
  1. Have CVS (partnering with Omnicare) come to your building and administer the vaccine to residents and any staff not previously vaccinated
  2. Have Walgreens (partnering with PharMerica) come to your building and administer the vaccine to residents and any staff not previously vaccinated
  3. Work with your existing pharmacy partner (LTC pharmacy), if they have the capability to meet the requirements
  4. Partner with another entity such as your hospital health care system, local/state health department, etc.

Important: Before selecting options 3 or 4, the provider should confirm that this entity can meet all the CDC requirements (including cold chain management) and has signed a provider agreement with your state). We strongly encourage all long-term care facilities to participate and register as soon as the portals open. This is critical to ensuring our vulnerable residents are among the first to receive a vaccine when it becomes available.  

The CDC is offering an overview and FAQs to help further explain the program, and the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) developed a summary. To prepare, we encourage you to review these materials, as well as do the following: 
  • Compile the necessary information for the nursing facility and assisted living portals, to inform CDC about your resident population
  • Register now for one of the AHCA/NCAL “Office Hours” on ahcancalED—we’ve already secured multiple times over the next two weeks with CDC staff to help answer your questions about this vaccination program

Currently there are no COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized or approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. However, the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care program is being established in anticipation that one or more COVID-19 vaccines will be available before the end of the year.

Patti Cullen, CAE  |  President/CEO  |  |  952-851-2487


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Care Providers of Minnesota is a non-profit membership association with the mission to Empower Members to Performance Excellence. Our 900+ members across Minnesota represent non-profit and for-profit organizations providing services along the full spectrum of post-acute care and long-term services and support. We are the state affiliate for the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, and with our national partners we provide solutions for quality care.

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